The New Year is often associated with new beginnings. Resolutions, diets, Top Ten lists, and new goals. However, what is perhaps the biggest new beginning for many as the New Year arrives is a change of jobs or professional directions.
We’ve all been there. You’re tired of the boss who doesn’t see your worth, tired of the commute, tired of working with no raise in sight – and you're not going to take it any more!
So you pop the New Year champagne and quit your job, but not before finding another position because, as we all know, jobs are hard to find. Relieved, you sigh deeply and applaud your accomplishment. New boss - shorter commute - decent money. YES! Life is good.
Until, a few months later, you’re (again) coming home with that empty feeling inside and kicking the dog around. What the *%#&. You "started over", only to find that you have gone in a big circle and ended up back where you began? Now you’re as frustrated with your new job and profession as ever. So, what’s up with that?
I have a theory. It’s because the one thing you did NOT calculate when you considered a job move was, “am I passionate about what I do?”
Now I hear some of you groaning as you ask, “what does PASSION have to do with work?” The answer is that most of the time, nothing. And that’s the reason so many workers are terribly unhappy with their careers. They lack PASSION for their work and careers.
To be clear, in this context, PASSION is my definition for a love for our work and profession. It is precisely that love that makes long hours and even grumpy bosses bearable, and the work, inspired and exceptional. That is the reason why I have made PASSION my personal 2012 mantra.
It’s more than a buzzword. PASSION is what drives me to write and create hour after hour, day after day, year after year. Passion is the driving force that makes me fidget in my seat when an idea strikes and I must rise from near sleep or excuse myself from the dinner table in order to jot it down. Passion is the word that describes not only my wish to be creative – but also my NEED to be creative. Passion is the feeling that enables me to overcome the inevitable highs and lows of living my life as an artist.
Moreover, it is my PASSION for sharing that has led me to lecture and teach others about the joys and fulfillment that comes from maximizing their own creative journey.
For all of us, PASSION is the secret ingredient that can make the difference between joy and pain in our professional lives. With cell phones, texting, computers in your bedrooms and the myriad of ways the boss can track you down and put you to work, even in your off hours, I think its fair to say you’re working harder and longer than any time in your life.
However, the fact remains that, when contemplating changing jobs or professional directions, PASSION is often the one consideration that get’s left out of the equation.
Oh, I know we must think about the practicalities of life, like rent, bills, health coverage and 401k’s. And I would never encourage someone to make career decisions based on PASSION alone. That would be foolish indeed.
But to ignore the importance of enjoying what you do is just as foolish. If you are like me, you have enough friends who are miserable in their jobs, to know that it is not a great place to be.
So folks, I think 2012 should be the year of PASSION for all of us. The year when we strive to love life AND our jobs, approaching them both with as much PASSION and gusto as we can muster.
And when we find the PASSION is gone and we are coming home and kicking the dog, perhaps it’s a sign that it’s time to find happiness via new beginnings.
Just a thought.
New York born writer/director Kim Watson lives in Los Angeles with his wife and seven year-old son. He’s lectured at, among others, USC, Occidental College and Vanguard University on cinema, screenwriting, the Creative Process and recently hosted an on-line conference on Thinking Creatively About Your Future for the University of Maryland University College. His credits include directing over 40 music videos for Grammy winning artists, co-writing the feature film Honey staring Jessica Alba, writing ABC Disney’s Little Bill series, Movies of the Week, children’s books; and is a feature contributor to the popular LA web-magazine, Civilization of the World. Visit Kim's website Write 2 Live.org, an on-line salon and discussion on creativity, art and culture.